BENSON — Wadena-Deer Creek runners made a statement Tuesday, Oct. 12, at the Benson Cross-Country Invite. The girl’s varsity team shined in the spotlight with a second-place finish, while the boys found success as well.

Girls varsity

The Wolverines dominated the competition with four girls placing in the top 10. Amber Collins led the Wolverines team landing in third place. The difference between sophomore Amber Collins and her opponent Lauryn Ankeny was one second, with Ankeny inching out a second place victory with 21:23:00.

Eighth-grader Britta Sweeny, senior Johanna Brunsberg, and eighth-grader Lydia Oldakowski all landed in the top 10 in 8th, 9th, and 10th place respectively.

Other finishes for W-DC were senior Emma Ries and junior Alexandra Pavek, both recording a 21st and 25th finish.

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The final rankings for the event came down to a margin of only 1 minute and 15 seconds, as W-DC finished in second place overall for the event. In first place was Minnewaska, who had the first, second, and sixth place positions in the event.

Coach Michael Brunsberg reflected on the finish, stating that “The Minnewaska girls are a Top 10 state ranked team, who have won several meets this season — including two or three in which we have finished behind them. The race in Kerkhoven is the closest we've been to their point total; which, hopefully, is a sign that we are closing the gap and should stick with our long-term training plan.”

That training plan will be implemented down the road, and Brunsberg sees the finish line given where sections will be at.

“The aim is to peak at sections … which happens to be at Minnewaska this year!”

Boys varsity

For the boy’s, juniors Lane Hoefs and Bjorn Brunsberg finished 5/10s of a second apart, giving W-DC a seventh and eighth place result.

There were a total of 13 top-15 T-shirt winners for the Wolverines. Eleven girls were rewarded, led by Amber Collins and Cambrie Gieger.

Coach let his players pat themselves on the back afterward, knowing their training and hard work paid off.

“After the race in Kerkoven, we noted and celebrated the improved race times of the junior high and JV runners — as they had an outstanding race. Those runners tapered off their training in the week leading up to Kerkhoven, and their success bodes well for the varsity runners who have not started to taper.”

Girls JV

In the final event of the night for the girls, eighth-grader Cambrie Geiger was 4 seconds away from a first place finish in the 5k run with a time of 24:51:00. Behind her was sophomore Macey Goeden in sixth place at 26:03:00, and Madelyn Gallant just sneaked into ninth place, one second ahead of LQPV’s Evi Johnson.

Next time, the Wolverines will be competing at the conference event, at 4 p.m., Oct. 19, in Wadena.